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Eric G.




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PostPosted: Wed 12 Oct, 2011 9:51 pm    Post subject: Manuals on the Partizan, Poleaxe, and Halberd?         Reply with quote

I have found a group in my area that studies the Italian rapier and longsword. I have been studying with them for the last month or three and I have to say that I have loved it so much thus far. The guys that I'm studying with are pros with these two different kinds of fencing. However, I don't think that they have much study with the partizan, poleaxe, or halberd. I would like to find some manuals (preferably by someone Italian, since that's the theme of their studies) and study up.

Can anyone recommend and manuals on fighting with polearms? Something free and online would be favorite.

Thank you.

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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Thu 13 Oct, 2011 5:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Paulus Hector Mair is a good source. You can find facsimiles of his work online, although they are untranslated: http://dfg-viewer.de/show/?set%5Bmets%5D=http...0_mets.xml. See, in particular, the section Hellebardenfechten.

If you want access to an English version of the text, the best thing to do is order the Paladin Press book on the Polearms of Paulus Hector Mair: http://www.paladin-press.com/product/Polearms...and_Combat

For the poleaxe, the 15th century French manual Le Jeu de la Hache is an excellent option. You can find a translation of it on the ARMA page: http://www.thearma.org/spotlight/NotesLEJEUDELAHACHE.htm
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Thu 13 Oct, 2011 6:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Which Italian rapier style? If it's Bolognese, and especially Marozzo, there's a decent section on spears and partisans (and maybe even halberds) in his Opera Nova. Not as extensive as the sword-oriented stuff and tucked somewhere near the end of the manual, but still it's there and potentially valuable.
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Christian G. Cameron




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PostPosted: Thu 13 Oct, 2011 7:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Fiore di Liberi's books have poleaxe, longsword, sword in one hand, dagger, wrestling....

and all in Italian. There's English translations newly available from the Getty and other sources as well. There's several current sword schools dedicated to his style. He has useful things to say about poleaxe and the spear stuff--I'm just getting into it, but it seems as neat as all the rest of his work.

about 1400

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Alex Spreier




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PostPosted: Thu 13 Oct, 2011 10:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I will second the recommendation for Fiore and Vadi - just remember that you can't just pull the pole-arms out of context, the whole system in interconnected.

Le Jeu de la Hache is, in my opinion, the best primer on the poleaxe. Many English translations can be found online.

The Anonimo Bolognese also has a "Poleaxe for Dummies" type of section in it. I believe that there are English translations out there, but you can also order the entire book in Italian.

For partisan, halberd, etc. I would advise looking to the "Bolognese" school - Marrozo and Manciolino immediately come to mind ( check out Freelance Academy Press for Tom Leoni's translation of Manciolino).

Keep in mind what you hope to accomplish with polearms study. I love the poleaxe, but it is really requires an almost full harness for the techniques to make sense. Halberd, partisan, ronca, etc. work better with less armor.

In the end, polearms are polearms and will behave very similar. This is why many of the authors would present one polearm (say the ronca) and say that it's rules cover the partisan, spiedo, halberd etc.

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Greg Mele
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PostPosted: Thu 13 Oct, 2011 11:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alex Spreier wrote:

The Anonimo Bolognese also has a "Poleaxe for Dummies" type of section in it. I believe that there are English translations out there, but you can also order the entire book in Italian.


My translation of much of the text and interpretations is one of the essays in "In the Service of Mars" http://www.freelanceacademypress.com/intheserviceofmarsvol1.aspx

Quote:
For partisan, halberd, etc. I would advise looking to the "Bolognese" school - Marrozo and Manciolino immediately come to mind ( check out Freelance Academy Press for Tom Leoni's translation of Manciolino).


Yes, Manciolino covers the spear/half-pike, partizan, partizan and shield. winged spear and bill. You will also find di Grassi to have a good primer on the same weapons (his section called "javelin" in the 16th c English translation is really the winged spear or spiedo).

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Eric G.




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PostPosted: Thu 13 Oct, 2011 1:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Peters wrote:
Paulus Hector Mair is a good source. You can find facsimiles of his work online, although they are untranslated: http://dfg-viewer.de/show/?set%5Bmets%5D=http...0_mets.xml. See, in particular, the section Hellebardenfechten.

If you want access to an English version of the text, the best thing to do is order the Paladin Press book on the Polearms of Paulus Hector Mair: http://www.paladin-press.com/product/Polearms...and_Combat

For the poleaxe, the 15th century French manual Le Jeu de la Hache is an excellent option. You can find a translation of it on the ARMA page: http://www.thearma.org/spotlight/NotesLEJEUDELAHACHE.htm


Craig,

Thank you. I have seen the text by Paulus Hector Mair before and wondered if anyone on this site has trained with it. Have you used this? If so, can you tell me about any of your personal experience with it?

Also, thanks for the link to the French one on the ARMA site. Free is my favorite four letter f-word Wink


Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
Which Italian rapier style? If it's Bolognese, and especially Marozzo, there's a decent section on spears and partisans (and maybe even halberds) in his Opera Nova. Not as extensive as the sword-oriented stuff and tucked somewhere near the end of the manual, but still it's there and potentially valuable.


Anything Italian would be great. Heck, I'll take anything at all, but Italian would be preferable for theme purposes. Any links to some translations?
Christian G. Cameron wrote:
Fiore di Liberi's books have poleaxe, longsword, sword in one hand, dagger, wrestling....

and all in Italian. There's English translations newly available from the Getty and other sources as well. There's several current sword schools dedicated to his style. He has useful things to say about poleaxe and the spear stuff--I'm just getting into it, but it seems as neat as all the rest of his work.

about 1400

Ok, I'm sorry to ask this question because I should probably know the answer, but what is this link on Getty? I am studying with Tattershall here in AZ and for the longsword they do use Fiore. It was really the only place I could find in my area, but I'm loving it and really feel like I'm working with an excellent group of guys.

Alex Spreier wrote:
I will second the recommendation for Fiore and Vadi - just remember that you can't just pull the pole-arms out of context, the whole system in interconnected.

Le Jeu de la Hache is, in my opinion, the best primer on the poleaxe. Many English translations can be found online.

The Anonimo Bolognese also has a "Poleaxe for Dummies" type of section in it. I believe that there are English translations out there, but you can also order the entire book in Italian.

For partisan, halberd, etc. I would advise looking to the "Bolognese" school - Marrozo and Manciolino immediately come to mind ( check out Freelance Academy Press for Tom Leoni's translation of Manciolino).

Keep in mind what you hope to accomplish with polearms study. I love the poleaxe, but it is really requires an almost full harness for the techniques to make sense. Halberd, partisan, ronca, etc. work better with less armor.

In the end, polearms are polearms and will behave very similar. This is why many of the authors would present one polearm (say the ronca) and say that it's rules cover the partisan, spiedo, halberd etc.


That's some great information. To be honest I'm most interested in the partizan, but I just feel like there might be so little of it out there that I should just focus on another polearm.
Greg Mele wrote:
Alex Spreier wrote:

The Anonimo Bolognese also has a "Poleaxe for Dummies" type of section in it. I believe that there are English translations out there, but you can also order the entire book in Italian.


My translation of much of the text and interpretations is one of the essays in "In the Service of Mars" http://www.freelanceacademypress.com/intheserviceofmarsvol1.aspx

Quote:
For partisan, halberd, etc. I would advise looking to the "Bolognese" school - Marrozo and Manciolino immediately come to mind ( check out Freelance Academy Press for Tom Leoni's translation of Manciolino).


Yes, Manciolino covers the spear/half-pike, partizan, partizan and shield. winged spear and bill. You will also find di Grassi to have a good primer on the same weapons (his section called "javelin" in the 16th c English translation is really the winged spear or spiedo).


I did find one thing by di grassi yesterday while browsing the internet. I will admit that what I found got me really excited, but I wish that there were more pictures.
Here's the link that I found:

http://www.umass.edu/renaissance/lord/collection.html

Eric Gregersen
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Thu 13 Oct, 2011 9:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The partizan is really just a glorified spear, so any spear techniques should work for it just fine. I don't believe there's any meaningful difference in the usage of the partizan versus the spear.

One thing that needs to be kept in mind is that modern people usually assume that each and every named weapon is differen and unique, and requires specialized training to fight with. While this certainly is true to some extent, judging from the fact that there are a wide variety of weapons covered in the manuals, it's not completely accurate. There is a large degree of crossover between weapons.

At the risk of oversimplification, someone who is skilled with wrestling, dagger, longsword, sword and buckler, spear and perhaps poleaxe could fight reasonably well with nearly any late medieval weapon handed to him, excluding of course bows and guns, since we're not concerned with them here. The masters themselves acknowledge that there's a lot of crossover between the long sword and other weapons, and the same goes for the spear and all other polearms. It's not as though you must be trained in each and every weapon to be able to handle them reasonably competently.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Thu 13 Oct, 2011 9:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Peters wrote:
The partizan is really just a glorified spear, so any spear techniques should work for it just fine. I don't believe there's any meaningful difference in the usage of the partizan versus the spear.

One thing that needs to be kept in mind is that modern people usually assume that each and every named weapon is different and unique, and requires specialized training to fight with. While this certainly is true to some extent, judging from the fact that there are a wide variety of weapons covered in the manuals, it's not completely accurate. There is a large degree of crossover between weapons.

At the risk of oversimplification, someone who is skilled with wrestling, dagger, longsword, sword and buckler, spear and perhaps poleaxe could fight reasonably well with nearly any late medieval weapon handed to him, excluding of course bows and guns, since we're not concerned with them here. The masters themselves acknowledge that there's a lot of crossover between the long sword and other weapons, and the same goes for the spear and all other polearms. It's not as though you must be trained in each and every weapon to be able to handle them reasonably competently.


I agree generally with the above that the Partizan is basically just a special kind of spear but the " wings/hooks " at the corners can be useful in parrying or hooking or raking cuts. The partizan also has a fairly wide blade so it does have cutting potential but not great chopping potential.

Someone trained in longsword has a lot of skills that can be applied to polearms even with minimal practice with a spear or other polearms, but certainly there are additional skills and techniques to better use a variety of different weapons.

Some of the skills or basic principle are universal for all martial arts: Measure, timing, fühlen, strong versus weak in the bind or in wrestling etc .....

Also, experience and practice learning forms or techniques make one a lot faster learning new techniques or weapons: This is a bit like any professional dancer can pick up and learn a choreography or new dance steps much more easily that a non-dancer.

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William P




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PostPosted: Fri 14 Oct, 2011 2:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christian G. Cameron wrote:
Fiore di Liberi's books have poleaxe, longsword, sword in one hand, dagger, wrestling....

and all in Italian. There's English translations newly available from the Getty and other sources as well. There's several current sword schools dedicated to his style. He has useful things to say about poleaxe and the spear stuff--I'm just getting into it, but it seems as neat as all the rest of his work.

about 1400

sword in one hand... and what in the other hand? i mean it seems bucker is the most common pairing with the single handed sword, and very rarely do we see the use of the arming sword sans shield/ dagger/ buckler. does fiore deal with single handed sword sans buckler or shield
aside from george silver, but hes 16-17th century and dealt with different weapons (the main sword of the english was the mortuary and various basket hilted varieties. )
and of course the mechanics of defending with a basket hilt are quite different to defending using a cruciform style 'simple' hilt. (to contrast with the 'complex' hilts of rapiers and basket hilts)
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Fri 14 Oct, 2011 10:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Fiore does have a very short section on being simply armed with a single handed sword and nothing in your off-hand. You can see it here: http://www.aemma.org/onlineResources/liberi/w...tion3.html. The basic principle seems to be lying in a low guard, from which you can displace an attack by winding into a form of Posta di Finestra, displacing the incoming cut. Essentially, it's the same as absetzen with the long sword in the Liechtenauer tradition. From the bind, you can either stab your opponent directly, grab his sword arm and attack, or engage in abrazare, which is wrestling.
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Benjamin Floyd II





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PostPosted: Fri 14 Oct, 2011 12:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

How has no one mentioned Meyer? He has a pretty good polearm section.
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Alex Spreier




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PostPosted: Fri 14 Oct, 2011 10:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greg Mele wrote:
Alex Spreier wrote:

The Anonimo Bolognese also has a "Poleaxe for Dummies" type of section in it. I believe that there are English translations out there, but you can also order the entire book in Italian.


My translation of much of the text and interpretations is one of the essays in "In the Service of Mars" http://www.freelanceacademypress.com/intheserviceofmarsvol1.aspx


I'm sorry Greg! How could I have forgotten, given that my own copy is heavily annotated with scribbles!

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Jon Wolfe




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PostPosted: Sat 15 Oct, 2011 11:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have to echo what Benjamin said, Meyer has some of the most through instruction on polearms available. He covers the staff/half-pike/spear, the halberd, and the pike, in a manner that easily learned by those with no previous training in any polearm material, or much martial training at all for that matter. There maybe one or two guards that are a little difficult to grasp when first starting out, but nothing that is impossible to decipher. The only problem though, is that the Forgeng translation of Meyer's work is out of print, and apparently quite difficult to get a hold of at the moment, but if you could get a hold of a copy or a proprietary translation of the original work, I think you'd find yourself rewarded with a wealth of material that would last you for quite some time.
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Alex Spreier




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PostPosted: Sat 15 Oct, 2011 5:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jon Wolfe wrote:
I have to echo what Benjamin said, Meyer has some of the most through instruction on polearms available. He covers the staff/half-pike/spear, the halberd, and the pike, in a manner that easily learned by those with no previous training in any polearm material, or much martial training at all for that matter. There maybe one or two guards that are a little difficult to grasp when first starting out, but nothing that is impossible to decipher. The only problem though, is that the Forgeng translation of Meyer's work is out of print, and apparently quite difficult to get a hold of at the moment, but if you could get a hold of a copy or a proprietary translation of the original work, I think you'd find yourself rewarded with a wealth of material that would last you for quite some time.


Very true. However, the OP specifically asked for Italian stuff ;-)

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Greg Mele
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PostPosted: Sun 16 Oct, 2011 8:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Peters wrote:
The partizan is really just a glorified spear, so any spear techniques should work for it just fine. I don't believe there's any meaningful difference in the usage of the partizan versus the spear.



Yes and no. I agree with Craig - the fundamentals for all of these weapons is contained in the spear. Then you learn how to use the wings/hooks, which is where the difference comes in. Also, it is the only polearm we have documentation for using with a shield, so it gives us some idea of how that fight occurred.

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Jon Wolfe




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PostPosted: Sun 16 Oct, 2011 10:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alex Spreier wrote:
Jon Wolfe wrote:
I have to echo what Benjamin said, Meyer has some of the most through instruction on polearms available. He covers the staff/half-pike/spear, the halberd, and the pike, in a manner that easily learned by those with no previous training in any polearm material, or much martial training at all for that matter. There maybe one or two guards that are a little difficult to grasp when first starting out, but nothing that is impossible to decipher. The only problem though, is that the Forgeng translation of Meyer's work is out of print, and apparently quite difficult to get a hold of at the moment, but if you could get a hold of a copy or a proprietary translation of the original work, I think you'd find yourself rewarded with a wealth of material that would last you for quite some time.


Very true. However, the OP specifically asked for Italian stuff ;-)


Eric Gregersen wrote:
(preferably by someone Italian, since that's the theme of their studies)

Italics added by me for emphasis.

There is some interesting research that points to Meyer at one time being a classmate of Marozzo. Also, when one compares Meyer's rappier techniques to those of the single sword in several of the best know Bolognese manuals, there are many strong similarities to be found. Additionally, given the strong amounts of cross-pollination that Meyer uses for the instruction of the different weapons covered in his work, I would say that his staff weapons chapter is at least potentially "Italian" influenced.
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Alex Spreier




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PostPosted: Sun 16 Oct, 2011 11:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jon Wolfe wrote:

There is some interesting research that points to Meyer at one time being a classmate of Marozzo. Also, when one compares Meyer's rappier techniques to those of the single sword in several of the best know Bolognese manuals, there are many strong similarities to be found. Additionally, given the strong amounts of cross-pollination that Meyer uses for the instruction of the different weapons covered in his work, I would say that his staff weapons chapter is at least potentially "Italian" influenced.


Well that's cool info!

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PostPosted: Sun 16 Oct, 2011 11:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jon Wolfe wrote:
Quote:
There is some interesting research that points to Meyer at one time being a classmate of Marozzo. Also, when one compares Meyer's rappier techniques to those of the single sword in several of the best know Bolognese manuals, there are many strong similarities to be found. Additionally, given the strong amounts of cross-pollination that Meyer uses for the instruction of the different weapons covered in his work, I would say that his staff weapons chapter is at least potentially "Italian" influenced


It can be quite possible, however keep in mind there is no German tradition for the rapier. Not just Meyer, but many other later German fight masters relied on the Belognese school to teach rapier, falling back on the German tradition to teach just about all else including the spear. just skimming through both Marozzo's and Meyers work the spear seems to be taught in their own ethnic traditions, but others please correct me if I'm wrong. Just my 0.02 cents.

Regards.
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Greg Mele
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PostPosted: Mon 17 Oct, 2011 9:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There is a certain commonality to all polearm play, but I would not say that Meyer's polearm material is reminiscent of the Bolognese. The use of one-handed staff strikes the way that the forks are used with the halberd, and the long staff material is distinctly 16th c German (compare to the compendia my Paulus Hector Mair), and interestingly, if anything, has more in common with the bill and long-staff/pike material in Silver than that across the Alps.

Having said that, it's great stuff! Wink

(BTW, Meyer has been called a "condiscepolo) of Viggiani, not Marozzo. Certainly he shows and illustrates Viggiani's universal parry and over-hand lunge, and his teaching sequences throughout the manuscript, and the way he describes blow paths as guard transitions are reminiscent of the Bolognese. But the link is by people comparing the technical material, not because of any proven connection to a particular Italian master. (Meyer just says that he learned the rappir in foreign lands.) )

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